Tony Miano arrested for ‘hate’ speech – full video and police transcript

Yesterday, I posted a link regarding the recent arrest of Tony Miano – an American street evangelist preaching outside Wimbledon.

Since then, a full video of the incident and police transcripts of the subsequent interview have been made available. These have been published on the Cranmer blog. Calvin Smith has responded to the story and posted his reaction here.

Having read the transcript and viewed the video, it appears Mr Miano doesn’t do himself any favours on occasion. The officer admitted and exhibited theological illiteracy several times yet Mr Miano continued to explain sin in such a way that the officer misunderstood Miano’s view. Nothing he said thereafter did anything to divest the officer of this misconception. Only once did he identify himself as ‘a sinner’, though not really with clarity. This can’t have helped the officer move from his view that ‘sinners’ are bad people for doing x, y and z whilst the preacher is not such a one. Similarly, it took some pointed questions from his legal counsel to even come close to drawing out the points that (a) he was not intending to offend anybody and; (b) he was not intending to convey the idea that he is good whilst everyone else is sinful (though, as I mentioned, even this was not spoken of with clarity).

Similarly, Cranmer rightly points out that Mr Miano’s own version of events are not entirely borne out by the police transcript. He notes ‘[Mr Miano] specifically stated that the police asked him if he would be prepared to feed a hungry homosexual (corroborated in Christian Concern’s press release). This transcript establishes that these words were, in fact, Mr Miano’s own; not those of the interrogating police officer. This sort of misinformation or exaggeration really doesn’t aid a person’s credibility’. Although these were specifically Mr Miano’s words, they were a specific example used in direct response to the officer’s question ‘if someone you knew as a homosexual came up to you and asked you for a favor [sic], you’d quite happily offer them that favor [sic] would you?’.

Nevertheless, Calvin Smith is apt to comment: ‘Whatever your view of street preaching, or the style or approach of this particular preacher… we have indeed reached a sinister stage in our country where a single individual who is “offended” can result in the arrest, fingerprinting, DNA sampling and interrogation of another individual’.

2 comments

  1. This is indeed sinister. I hope that you would support the right of people like Mr Miano to preach what they sincerely believe to be the truth in public, even if they 'do not do themselves any favours' or define sin in the way you want them to. The problem is the law and its application by the police and the homophobia industry, not the niceties of how Christians express their views on sexuality. The police should not be getting involved in this, regardless of whether or not Mr Miano thinks he is better or not than others.

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  2. Yes, I support Mr Miano's right to preach in public. I did not say there was anything wrong with Mr Miano's definition of sin (such as it was). My only comment on this was that he and the officer appeared to be speaking at cross-purposes much of the time, which did him no favours. This may have been a misunderstanding of small, though significant, cultural cues but it was nevertheless evident the officer clearly did not understand Mr Miano's explanation in the way it was intended. My comment was that Mr Miano mayt have helped his own cause by more explicitly (as was implicit in some of his answers but clearly not picked up by the officer) categorising himself as a sinner too. It was a mere observation that he did not do this.

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